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I am writing to respond to Nathan Callahan's recent article regarding a fund-raising campaign conducted by the company for which I work, Regal Entertainment Group ("'Corporate Vulture,'" May 2). Callahan shamelessly portrays our company's fund-raising campaign Stars of Hope as a sham in order to support his personal attack on Phillip Anschutz.
This style of slanderous reporting is what gives the media a bad reputation. Stars of Hope was developed to raise funds to help support the numerous industry-related national and local charities with which our company is associated. Our company has a reputation for philanthropy and is an industry and community leader in support of many charitable programs. In 2002, our network of theatres raised $1.3 million for the Will Rogers Institute and more than $400,000 for Variety-Children's Clubs across the country. We regularly receive and respond to more than 1,000 requests each month from charities nationwide. Funds raised in our Stars of Hope campaign will be directed to our company's nonprofit foundation, and the proceeds will be distributed to a variety of worthwhile charities across the country.
The disbursement of our foundation's funds is directed by a board of directors comprised of Regal's most senior executives based in Knoxville, Tennessee. As a public company, we gladly adhere to the many legal guidelines that govern such an organization. Neither Mr. Anschutz nor any of his representatives are involved in the administration of the Regal Foundation.
I could go on, but I hope this is sufficient to clear the air. We are proud of our philanthropic efforts and of the company that supports those efforts. The type of reporting exhibited by Mr. Callahan is irresponsible and could severely hamper our ability to provide assistance for the numerous worthy and well-known charities that we support.
Regal Entertainment Group
Nathan Callahan responds: Many a rabidly conservative organization has profited from Anschutz's philanthropy through his Anschutz Foundation. According to Mr. Westerling, Regal is a bird of a different corporate feather—Regal, he says, raises funds for charities entirely without consideration for its owner's political/moral agenda. Given this inconceivably platonic relationship, may I suggest the Stars of Hope fund-raising campaign be used to counterbalance Anschutz's heavy-hitter donations to gay-bashing hate groups. The Matthew Shepard Foundation would be an outstanding beneficiary of Stars of Hope. They can be reached at 4010A S. Poplar St., Ste. 299, Casper, WY 82601, (307) 237-6167. May I also suggest that if the good works from the Stars of Hope campaign are handicapped in any way, Regal would do well to consider the bad PR generated by the homophobic loon fronting its entertainment group—rather than the shameless journalist—as the source of the trouble.
I read the article on Debbie Cook (Nick Schou's "Jingo Fever," May 9) and with Cook: yellow ribbons have never solved anything. Debbie, don't let those fools from YAF get you down. Yellow ribbons? Are they kidding? Yellow ribbons are ridiculous, but red ribbons are cool. Obviously, famous actors and musicians wearing red ribbons to awards shows is the cure for HIV—just look at the numbers. Well, Debbie, have a great weekend. I have to run outside to tie a purple ribbon to the stop sign to bring awareness to the affliction of Simple Chronic Halitosis. Send the news trucks; I'm on Huntington and Oswego.
To the anonymous letter writer responding to Gustavo Arellano's "No Peace for War" (April 11): I would like to make several points that you seem to have missed or just ignored completely. First of all, where do you get the impression that Luis Sarmiento is a little jerk? He's a jerk for expressing his opinions? He's a jerk because he organized a peaceful demonstration—you know, similar to the ones that Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged? He has the integrity to question the stance that Mater Dei has taken—behavior so similar to the way the Catholic Church in general reacted to the war in Germany half a century ago that it frightens me? Back then, the church ignored atrocities committed against the Jews and in some instances turned their backs on those in need. How can you say that Mater Dei was "protecting" their students? They were trying to avoid any negative media in relation to this shitty war. The demonstration turned out peaceful, exactly as planned.
The pride of Mater Dei is that it creates well-rounded students and provides them with an education that is worth the thousands of dollars parents such as you shell out each year. But how can a school provide an education that promotes leadership and self-expression when it quiets any voice other than its own?
Regardless of the grief Mater Dei may cause him due to his beliefs and strength of character, Luis carries within him the fortitude and intelligence of a great leader, and that is something he didn't learn from Mater Dei.
Commie Girl, that is the most amazing picture of you on the cover of the May 9 Weekly! And the red heels? Very hot!
Via e-mail The editor responds: Byron, thank you for the kind words. We're happy you enjoyed our recent cover. However, we must tell you that the comely lady featured suggestively straddling an electric car and dangling an electrical cord was not our Miss Schoenkopf, but rather Managing Editor Matt Coker. Please don't feel bad about your confusion. Rebecca and Matt are often mistaken for each other, and once, when Rebecca had two dates for the big dance, Matt pretended to be her and dated one of the boys with hilarious results . . . until Matt was found out and beaten severely.
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